We constantly hear that we need to work on ourselves. How? What does it even mean to work on yourself?
Talking to people about this topic, I realized that each of us interprets “work on yourself” differently.
Some think that work refers to exercise and nutrition, others think about professional development, others think that it is a spiritual upliftment by resorting to various alternative directions of spirituality in order to know oneself, gain insight into one’s own essence of existence, reduce anxiety through various types of meditation.
Types of development and their purpose
Spiritual development also includes faith, so some will devote themselves to discovering the beauty of prayer through the faith they live. Spiritual, that is, psychological development is also my favorite branch of psychology, which reveals the causes of human behavior, identifies our rules, beliefs, attitudes that are revealed through our thoughts and as such affect our mood, behavior, and quality of life. The beauty of psychology is that it does not exclude any of the above. On the contrary, it supports everything that a person thinks helps him/her, but acts comprehensively in a way that takes into account all that is important to the person, all his / her life roles, values and desires.
Whatever you think is work and whatever you get yourself into, any change takes time.
Almost anyone can learn how to drive a car. It is not very demanding, and again we need at least 30 hours of driving in a driving school to get a permit. Just remember how many days you need to get used to when you change a home where you keep something you use often. How many times do you reach for this item in the old place? Why do we adopt a new habit in a few days? Because finding things in the old place every time corrects us in our behavior and reminds us that we need to change our behavior to adopt a new habit. Now, imagine that every time you get a warning from someone when you do what you don’t want or when you think about things in a way that is harmful to you. I’m sure you would adopt and change that very quickly, but unfortunately, a good fairy doesn’t sit on our shoulders and doesn’t tell us every time we went down the wrong path.
Most of us won’t to change now and immediately
We would all like to achieve the change we want with as little effort as possible. Some arm themselves with literature in popular psychology and think that reading will change something. Not that it’s impossible, just one sentence can work wonders, but from my experience it’s difficult. In fact, in theory, we all know everything, but the practice is still the same. Then, we watch a friend become much calmer than usual, the woman is no longer nervous and her life has become better. They ask her what she does with herself to be like that, and she says that she meditates every day. Normally, by the way, she was silent about being in psychotherapy, having undergone a series of psychosocial growth and development workshops, but never mind. Let’s stick with meditation. And so they try to meditate for two days and say they don’t go and give up. And meditation should be practiced. It only takes a couple of weeks, some months and a few months, until they get their mind off a minute without any thoughts. And it requires work and exercise.
There are also those who come to us psychologists for therapy or counseling, so they say that they thought we would give them a quick solution, and when it does, behold miracles, there is little work to be done.
It’s amazing how long people can be in a condition that makes their daily life difficult. For years! People have been living unhappily for years, often without even knowing exactly what is causing their unhappiness. For years, they have been living with various types of anxiety such as panic attacks, phobias, various fears that plague them on a daily basis and therefore avoid many things in their lives that are lacking or their quality of life is significantly impaired. People have been choosing the wrong partners for years, they see it, but they don’t know how to change it.
In order to change things, we must first identify the problem
It’s already hard for people. They realize that something is wrong, but what they really have is that they do not see it. Once we have identified the problem, it is important to know how we will solve it and we stop there. So even when we know the theory, as many panic attackers know almost all of the theory, it is still very difficult to solve their problem on their own. Even if we are all able to solve our problems on our own, we need knowledge and time again.
What is the shortest, cheapest and most efficient way to change?
I think it is most worth investing a few months of your life by going for some form of psychotherapy or psychological counseling. Any good psychotherapist will support you in all of the above forms of help and self-help if they are helpful and do you good. But often these types of assistance are insufficient or incomplete in order for a person to achieve a concrete and measurable change in their life. For example, it is wonderful to meditate because you are at peace then, but if you have not learned how to be calm and without meditation then restlessness will still be an integral part of your life.
There are several different psychotherapy directions. It is important to ask what kind of psychotherapy is best for a particular problem. For example, cognitive-behavioral therapy produces the best results in all types of anxiety and depression. It is also good for marital or partner therapy and for behavioral changes in children. It is worth asking how long psychotherapy or psychological counseling will last and what are the working methods. If that suits you, get going!
Working on yourself has no end if you are constantly finding yourself what you could be better at, but once you learn the techniques and methods of working then it is much easier to work on your own.